Really Smart Kids: A Plot Un-Twist Challenge Vignette

By Paul-Gabriel Wiener <>

Rated: G

Submitted: May, 2003

Summary: The "Smart Kids" are a little smarter in this Plot Un-twist Challenge response, and the world is a better place for it…

Author's note: This is a response to the "plot un-twist" challenge posted on Zoomway's message boards by Hazel. The idea is relatively simple: pick a moment from the show, preferably the teaser for one of the episodes, and change things so that the A-plot unravels in a hopefully humorous way.


The door to the infirmary clicked open. Dudley, Phillip, Karen, Aymee, and, last and quite likely least, Socrates crept inside.

The kids fanned out, each moving to take care of his or her planned objective. Socrates grunted, snorted, and then went to lie down. A pig by any other name is still not a philosopher.

The files were easily found, then copied, packed, or shredded, as appropriate. Aymee returned to the group, temporarily defeated by the security system.

And then, it happened. Dudley cracked the safe. Tubes of Mentamide 5 were quickly distributed, and the kids toasted their impending success.

Instantly, their intelligence was boosted to incredible levels.

"Main gate?" Phillip asked.

Aymee thought about it for a second, then grinned. "Consider it zapped!"

"Watch out, Metropolis," Dudley crowed. "Here we come!"

Socrates burped, possibly in agreement.

"Wait a second," Phillip said, suddenly. His enhanced mind was racing. "This isn't going to work. If we just leave, we'll just run out of the smart stuff, and they'll catch us when we come back for more. We need to study it. Learn how to make it ourselves. Aymee, keep security tied up. Dudley, Karen, help me go through the files."

The kids applied themselves to their new tasks. They soon learned how to synthesize Mentamide 5, but they also learned that there was a flaw in the formula.

Aymee split her attention between watching out for security, tracking down those responsible for experimenting on them, gathering evidence, and helping the other three as she could. Phillip, Dudley, and Karen applied themselves fully to fixing the "smart stuff" formula. Socrates sniffed thoughtfully at the floor and grunted.

The four kids stayed up far past their bedtimes, but they managed to perfect the formula.

In the morning, they sent their evidence to a pair of reporters at the Daily Planet who had a reputation for honesty, solid investigative work, and willingness to listen to sources that others might ignore.

They also sent out a patent application for Mentamide 6.

That afternoon, Lex Luthor was arrested on multiple charges.

That evening, the Daily Planet had the exclusive.

Later that year, the smart kids became the youngest recipients ever of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.

Soon, "smart stuff" was commercially available in large quantities.

The kids became very rich. Lex Luthor remained in jail. Socrates got a mud pit.

Those who bought "smart stuff" quickly realized the long- term advantages of global distribution. A fund was set up to ensure that "smart stuff" was made available to everyone.

Prejudices faded away in the new light of intelligence.

Criminals, faced with an army of hyper-intelligent police, soon gave up and turned away from crime.

Lex Luthor remained in prison.

People began recognizing Superman, even with the glasses, but they were too smart to ruin his life.

Clark Kent discovered that "smart stuff" had no effect on Kryptonian physiology. Not that he really needed it, anyway. He had plenty of advantages, including a flawless memory and a brain that could function at super-speed.

With prejudice fast melting away and other improvements being put in place, an end was put to all war.

The smart kids became the youngest recipients in history of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Socrates dined on truffles.

Criminals were released from prison. Lex Luthor became a free man, but lived a life of powerless obscurity.

With war abolished, all tanks were retired. Except for one which was modified by an innovative artist who increased the accuracy, redesigned the shells, and created a bold new way to get a really cool and amazingly fast haircut.

Global food distribution was reorganized, and an end put to hunger.

New inventions and scientific advancement also put an end to disease, boredom, and the need for manual labor.

With abundant resources available to all and no need to entice people to do the jobs no one wanted to do, money was abolished.

Socrates still got to eat truffles.

Clark Kent began using his powers publicly, but he was only needed for natural disasters, which were already decreasing in number. No one ever bothered or threatened his parents, wife, children (thanks to advancements in genetics), or family friends. Who would want to?

Lex remained… well, something or other. No one took the time to notice.

Humankind moved forward into a shining new golden age.

H. G. Wells, interdimensional traveller, discovered a utopia founded by children who were completely unrelated to Lois and Clark. He was confused, but shrugged. Utopia was Utopia. As long as people were happy, what did it matter? At least none of them was a slob named Joe.